PLATTEVILLE — The official record for the 2012 softball season will forever show Platteville lost its final game.
But on the field the Hillmen actually finished the year a winner.
Unfortunately for Tina Davies’ team, a misunderstanding of WIAA rules caused Platteville to use an ineligible player in its opening round playoff game against Dodgeville, which eventually led to the Hillmen forfeiting their 10–5 victory over the Dodgers and being disqualified from the rest of this year’s postseason tournament.
The day before Platteville’s WIAA Division 2 regional quarterfinal game on May 24, one of Davies’ starting players was suspended from school for an altercation in the hallway.
Her family immediately appealed the suspension and the player in question, was forced to serve her suspension — missing school both Thursday and Friday— until her appeal was resolved.
According to the Platteville High School activities code, while a player is in the midst of an appeals process that player remains eligible to participate in any interscholastic competition.
Therefore Davies was given the go-ahead to use the player in question — even though she missed school on Thursday — as normal in the regional playoff game.
However, according to a WIAA rule, which the Platteville administration was apparently unaware of, any player involved in any appeals process is not eligible to continue participation in WIAA sanctioned events until the appeals process is resolved.
Therefore, Platteville was deemed to have used an ineligible player and immediately had to forfeit its first-round victory.
“We had an activity code violation and we enforced our Activity Code,” said Platteville Activities Director Al Minter. “Unfortunately, our code contradicts the standards of the WIAA. When this difference was brought to our attention I contacted the WIAA and after discussing the incident it was determined that I had allowed an ineligible player to play in a game.”
Dodgeville was reinstated in the tournament and promptly dropped a regional semifinal round game at Prairie du Chien, 6–0, last Tuesday.
“If there would have been any kind of concern or hesitation we would not have played the athlete,” said Davies. “As the administration explained they have never really had this type of situation come up before in the manner that it did.
“I am heartbroken and very upset over the whole ordeal. It was an administrative error when it is all said and done, but it hurts that these girls are losing out on what could have been a fun run in the tournament for something that wasn’t their fault.”
Instead of improving to 13–10 and advancing to face Prairie du Chien, Platteville officially finished the season 12–11.
“It really was a great season for the girls compared to the last few,” said Davies. “Overall I was very pleased with how we did. I wish we could have had a stronger showing in conference but all in all I was very proud of every player. We were peaking at the right time and it is sad that we didn’t get to see how far it was going to take us. I am very excited to see what this group of girls will do next year. Katie Klar and Amy Place both had a great season and will be missed next year.”
Klar started in left field, while Place started at first base.